Facebook: How do you moderate 2 billion users?

How Facebook controls and moderates the content on the site has been called into question after an investigation by the Guardian. It has revealed some of the policies about what is classed as acceptable and unacceptable on the social media platform. I’ll be giving you info on a few of them in this post, but you can check out the Guardian article by clicking here.

Most of you reading this (if not all) will have a Facebook profile and will probably have seen some sort of violent, graphic or inappropriate content as you scroll down your newsfeed. Someone posts it, people share it, comment on it, react to it etc. I mostly ignore it or report it if it is something especially disturbing, and with the sheer amount of people using the site and the amount of posts everyday, I’m not surprised that Facebook moderators have trouble keeping up and removing all of it.

So why are Facebook moderation policies worth writing a post about? The Guardian posted a series of slides taken from Facebook’s moderation manuals, you can check out the full gallery here.  Here’s a couple of examples of some of the things that are deemed acceptable and unacceptable on the site:


The crosses show statements that should be removed and the ticks are statements that can remain. So, in this case, it’s okay to say that you want to ‘kick a person with red hair’ or ‘snap a bitch’s neck’ but you can’t say ‘someone shoot Trump’

Oh, and it’s ok to want to beat up fat kids…

I did, however find a statement that is allowed and also not allowed in the slides. See below18643847_258067054657689_610721359_n

fb 1

There are also policies regarding content containing self harm, according to the leaked documents, Facebook will allow people to live stream self harm attempts as there may be an opportunity to help them and they don’t want to censor or punish people in distress. However, it will be removed if there is no longer an opportunity to help the person. Content containing self harm is said to be on the rise on the platform.

According to the Guardian article, current moderators on the site are said to find the policies on sexual content the most confusing and many are concerned about the inconsistency of policies.

At the beginning of May, Zuckerberg announced that they will be hiring around 3,000 more moderators for the site.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a Facebook moderator? Well, the Guardian have put together a quiz. << Follow the link, give it a go and let us know how you did in the comments.



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